Yesterday saw the genesis of a new type of Intel Xeon processor - at least, as far as consumers were concerned. Prior to that date, it just existed behind the closed doors of Intel. Now, the new Xeon MPs with 64-Bit features have arrived.

Intel unveiled the new processors yesterday in San Francisco, and were eagerly joined by a number of OEMs onstage, who wanted to show off all of their new systems powered by these chips.

The new Xeon MPs—for servers with four or more chips—complete Intel's transition to 64-bit computing in its server chips. Intel officials say the Xeons—which together with the new chip set create the "Truland" platform—complement the 64-bit Itanium processors, which are for high-end servers and target the RISC environment. For several years, Intel promoted Itanium as the dominant 64-bit chip for Intel servers.

Designed for dual-core technology, Intel's new chip platform Truland prepares customers for innovations such as Intel virtualisation technology. This allows users to run several operating systems at once on the same platform.

This comes on the eve of Hewlett-Packard, the top seller of servers using x86 processors such as Intel's Xeon, has stopped selling eight-way Xeon systems.